South Africa is known to have high crime rates, which seem to be increasing. However, one crime has been consistently increasing, and we will provide tips to avoid it.
Over the years, housebreaking has been the leading and common crime in South Africa, according to Statistics SA (StatsSA). The months where there is an increase in housebreaking are June, September and December. Most people tend to confuse house robberies and housebreaking, but there is a difference between these two crimes. Housebreaking refers to a crime where another person enters someone’s house using force through methods such as breaking windows or possessions to steal their possessions. The only difference between house robberies and housebreaking is that house robberies tend to take a violent nature. The criminals will use weapons or any force to gain access into the house or steal possessions.
The provinces that had the highest rates of housebreaking were KwaZulu-Natal, followed by Western Cape and Gauteng. The households most likely to experience housebreaking were those in the lowest income bracket (R1 to R1,500) and the highest income bracket (R16,001 and more).
The vast spike noted for housebreaking can be due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The implemented lockdown measures caused some economic challenges as many people lost their jobs.
With there being an increase in housebreaking and there not being an indication that the crime will decline anytime soon, you must follow the tips offered below to ensure that your house is adequately protected.
Secure windows and doors
Securing your windows and doors is the most accessible defence that you can have against home intruders. Locking doors and windows might be expected, but many people fail to consistently secure their doors and windows. When burglars try to gain access into your home, having unlocked doors and windows will make your home easier to target. You must keep your doors locked even when you are at home. If you have a habit of forgetting to lock your doors, you can set reminders to secure them before you go to bed or consider investing in smart locks, as they can be scheduled to lock automatically at a specific time.
Upgrade door locks
Locking your doors might not be an effective security measure if you do not have high-quality locks, which might be the case for older doors. Firstly, ensure that your exterior doors have a deadbolt as they make it more challenging for intruders to break in. Secondly, ensure that your door frames and hinges are strong enough to handle the force that intruders will use during an attempted break-in. You can also choose to upgrade to smart locks as they can be locked remotely, and they make it harder for someone to break in.
Install a home security system
The most effective security measure that you can implement for your home is installing a home security system, as they effectively prevent intruders from gaining access to your home. Home security systems will also alert you if someone tries to gain entry into your house. Houses without a security system have a greater chance of being broken into than those that do. If a criminal sees no signs of your home having a security camera, they will likely break into your home.
Security cameras are a great security measure that you can choose as they add an extra layer of protection and alert you when there is someone on your property. If you decide to use a monitored security system, then the security company will alert the police if there is a break-in on your behalf.
Most housebreaking cases happen because criminals know that your home has valuables. Before criminals choose to break into a home, they will first scope out the house to see if there are any valuables that they can get their hands on. For this reason, it is advised that you do not leave valuables that are expensive in areas where they can easily be seen. Do not leave things such as jewellery, cash, and electronics in clear sight. You can choose to install blinds or invest in a safe so that your valuables are not easily seen.
Have outdoor lighting
Whenever criminals want to break into a home, they do not want to be easily seen, so outdoor lighting is a great deterrent. In most cases, housebreaking is often based on opportunity, and outdoor lighting will remove that opportunity. It is advised that you invest in motion-sensor lights instead of having outdoor lighting on at all times. Motion-sensor lights will illuminate the yard whenever they detect movement, catching the criminals off-guard and scare them off.
No one wants to ever become a victim of housebreaking, which might be more difficult now with higher rates of housebreaking cases. By considering the tips offered in this article, you will be able to discourage and prevent intruders while keeping your home and family safe.
Find out about The Role of National Crime Prevention Strategy in South Africa.